OGDEN — As people around Ogden prepare to mourn the loss of six year-old Emilie Parker, a massive display of support for her family is taking shape. This year both started and ended with major tragedies that have pulled the community together.
The showering of pink ribbons is very reminiscent of the blue ones seen at the beginning of the year when Ogden mourned the loss of a police officer. Many people here say not only does the community come together in tragedy, but they reach out to take care of their own.
I hope Robbie and Alissa know that we're there for them.
"I hope Robbie and Alissa know that we're there for them," said Renita Martinez, Ogden resident.
Renita Martinez grew up and went to High School at Ben Lomond with Robbie and Alissa Parker Emilie's parents.
"It's just hard," Martinez said. "I've been crying for days."
When she heard of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut, she was saddened. But hearing about little Emilie Parker brought it all home.
"I couldn't imagine what they're going through," Martinez said.
That's why Martinez and so many others in Ogden want to make sure that support can be seen by the Parkers as they prepare to lay their daughter to rest.
"I just love to see all of the pink all over because it reminds me of how many good people are out there," said Michelle Gehrett, Ogden resident.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell says it's similar to the display of love and caring that he saw after Police Officer Jared Francom was killed in a shootout this past January.
"The story is that this community does not let itself be defined by some things like that," Caldwell said. "It really comes together."
The story is that this community does not let itself be defined by some things like that. It really comes together.
–Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell
Just as thousands lined the streets for Francom's procession, many others plan to do the same for Emilie Parker this Saturday even though the family is keeping the funeral itself very private.
"Just to give quiet support is what I think the family was asking for, and that's what we're trying to provide," Caldwell said.
And for many of those who will stand alongside these displays, it's a way to grieve themselves for an unthinkable tragedy that has affected the whole country.
People will be lining up in Ogden for the funeral procession Saturday starting at 7th Street and Monroe.
A public memorial service will be held Thursday night at 7 in the Ben Lomond High School Atrium.